Montgomerie wants changes to Ryder Cup selection process


ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Colin Montgomerie  plans to recommend that Europe’s Ryder Cup selection process be changed for the 2012 event after having to leave English pair Paul Casey and Justin Rose off his team.

Montgomerie captained Europe to victory over the United States at Celtic Manor in Wales last weekend to regain the trophy. But even though he was given three wild card choices at his own request when previous captains had only two, the Scot wants further modifications.

“Having to leave out two players … was the worst day of my professional career,” he said Wednesday. “I don’t want any future captain to have to go through what I went through on that awful evening in Gleneagles. We have to devise a system of getting top players like that into the European team.”

Casey is ranked seventh in the world and has finished in the top 10 in seven of the 17 tournaments he has played this year. Rose has won two PGA Tour events in 2010 and won three out of four matches at the 2008 Ryder Cup in Valhalla.

Montgomerie is a member of the European Tour tournament committee, which will appoint the captain for Medinah in 2012 and decide how the team should be assembled. The committee will meet next month to review the 2010 Ryder Cup.

Before the Ryder Cup at Oakland Hills in 2004, the European team automatically selected 10 players based on earnings and then added two wild cards.

That was changed to bring in world ranking points so that U.S.-based players like Casey and Rose could make the team without having to play in Europe. But with so many Europeans playing full-time on the PGA Tour, there is still a chance that some top players will miss out.

Speaking at the Alfred Dunhill Links in Scotland, Montgomerie confirmed he will not seek the captaincy for Medinah and would instead try to make the team again as a player.

He acknowledged he has a mountain to climb to make his 10th Ryder Cup appearance, currently being ranked 425th in the world.

“I have to refocus on my game after two years of focusing on the way other people are playing,” Montgomerie said. “But I would have to take my game to a new level to make the team again. Even higher than it was in 1997-98, when I was playing my best golf – because since then the standard of golf being played on tour has improved so much.”